Monday, April 7, 2014

An Uncommon Journey

UPfront Magazine - Spring 2014
It is hard to believe that this is the twenty-fourth, and last, message that I am composing for UPfront magazine. I am writing this while a snowstorm is looming in Philadelphia, a reminder that in spite of such storms, I made the decision almost 13 years ago that I would leave my 34 year’s position at the University of California, San Francisco to come to lead the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. And leading I did, jointly with the best faculty, staff, students and alumni. And it all went so very quickly! But when we pause to look at what we have done together, what we have been able to accomplish, and where we have landed, our journey seems much longer than twelve years.

These past twelve years have been a journey informed by many traditions of excellence which were developed by my predecessors and upon whom we were able to build; Dean Claire Fagin who set the School on the map with a focus on research and practice; Dean Norma Lang who made a difference in connecting all that with health policy; and Interim Dean Neville Strumpf who moved the School’s strategic planning initiatives forward and integrated faculty governance. All my predecessors enhanced the School’s visibility and reputation and gave us the momentum and set the stage for an incredible twelve years of innovations that made us truly a leading school of nursing globally. 

In the past twelve years we have been able to triple our endowment to $72.4 million, increase enrollment by 57 percent, renovate Fagin Hall, launch a new undergraduate curriculum, introduce graduate specialties, and develop several distinguished research centers. Our reach extends to local, regional, national and global populations and our efforts are making a difference in healthcare and in building research programs. As I reflect upon our success, I am thankful to our faculty and staff, whose accomplishments impact science, practice and policy. Their diverse interests, skills and outlooks enhance our collective scope of influence and positively affect healthcare. They are the researchers whose nationally and internationally recognized work helps to inform public health policy. They are the educators who mentor, teach and encourage students to find their voices and establish successful academic and professional careers. They are the thought leaders who look for ways to collaborate in order to develop new solutions that positively impact populations. These are the amazing, empowered and talented people who make Penn Nursing Science world-renowned.

In this issue of UPfront, we highlight how our School has positively influenced the world in four ways: by giving a voice to nursing, by enhancing inquiry and innovation, by promoting clinical judgment and by creating a culture of engagement. These tenets, developed by our faculty, student body and administration, continue to underpin our vision and strategic goals.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Forging into the Future: Innovations and Transitions

UPfront Magazine - Fall 2013
Transitions are well-known in nursing. As nurses, we care for people who move from illness to wellness or chronicity or from one stage of life to another. The healthcare system, too, will be going through a major transition as millions of Americans join the ranks of the newly insured and will be entitled to preventative and curative interventions. Increased reliance on technology in educational and healthcare systems will change the landscape. And, as millions of baby boomers age, necessitating a new emphasis on managing chronic conditions, nursing and healthcare will undergo more seismic shifts. In short, we are in the midst of many transitions.

Anticipating and recognizing these transitions, we at the School embarked on instituting many innovative changes in our educational and research programs. First, we made substantive changes in our undergraduate curriculum (now in its third year of implementation). Next we launched a new simulation laboratory integrating creative simulating experiences throughout the undergraduate and graduate programs. Our state-of-the-art Helene Fuld Pavilion for Innovative Learning prepares students for real-life nursing experiences using the most advanced simulation equipment and instruction to provide challenging but safe opportunities to review and assess their critical thinking skills, diagnostic instincts, and effectiveness.

In this issue of UPfront, we showcase many examples of innovations that advance research, practice, technology, and education – both nationally and globally – that have generated companies, patents, grants, awards, apps, and groundbreaking research.